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Swimming at the 1996 Atlanta Summer Games:

Women's 800 metres Freestyle

Swimming at the 1996 Summer Games: Previous Summer Games ▪ Next Summer Games

Events:
Phases:

Host City: Atlanta, United States
Venue(s): Georgia Tech Aquatic Center, Atlanta, Georgia
Date Started: July 24, 1996
Date Finished: July 25, 1996

Gold: USA Brooke Bennett
Silver: GER Dagmar Hase
Bronze: NED Kirsten Vlieghuis

Summary

Janet Evans began the Atlanta Olympics by handing the Olympic torch over to [Muhammad Ali] at the Opening Ceremony. She ended her career with an attempt to win the Olympic title at 800 metres for an unprecedented third time.

A year earlier Evans would have been favourite to retain her title but in 1995 her eight-year winning streak at the distance had been snapped by compatriot Brooke Bennett. Despite having only just turned 16 Bennett dominated the event in front of her home crowd. She hit the lead on the second of the 16 lengths and slowly moved away over the rest of the race. Bennett finished two seconds clear of second-placed Dagmar Hase of Germany.

This was the last race before retirement for Janet Evans although 16 years later and by then aged 40, she returned to make an unsuccessful attempt at qualifying for the 2012 Games.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Brooke Bennett 16 United States USA Gold
2 Dagmar Hase 26 Germany GER Silver
3 Kirsten Vlieghuis 20 Netherlands NED Bronze
4 Kerstin Kielgaß 26 Germany GER
5 Irene Dalby 25 Norway NOR
6 Janet Evans 24 United States USA
7 Carla Geurts 25 Netherlands NED
8 Sarah Hardcastle 27 Great Britain GBR
9 Lin Chi-Chan 16 Chinese Taipei TPE
10 Eri Yamanoi 17 Japan JPN
11 Stacey Gartrell 19 Australia AUS
12 Pu Yiqi 15 China CHN
13 Hayley Lewis 22 Australia AUS
14 Nikki Dryden 21 Canada CAN
15 Olga Šplíchalová 20 Czech Republic CZE
16 Sandra Cam 24 Belgium BEL
17 Alicia Barrancos 24 Argentina ARG
18 Itziar Esparza 21 Spain ESP
19 Stephanie Richardson 19 Canada CAN
20 Carla-Creola Negrea 22 Romania ROU
21 Aiko Miyake 18 Japan JPN
22 Mirjana Boševska 15 Macedonia MKD
23 Ravee Intporn-Udom 15 Thailand THA
24 Seo Hyeon-Su 18 South Korea KOR
25 Rita Kovács 26 Hungary HUN
26 Maritza Chiaway 21 Peru PER
27 Olga Korotayeva 16 Kyrgyzstan KGZ
28 Daniela Menegon 19 Swaziland SWZ